Interesting elsewhere – 26 September 2009 to 28 September 2009

These are my links for 26 September 2009 to 28 September 2009:

    Social Media: It’s Not What You Say That Matters

    Presentation by Paul Isakson described by Ruth Kennedy as "brilliant presentation on real value of social media". Five main behaviours of social media: connecting, collaboration, consuming, sharing, creating.

    When Goliath Does Social Media…

    I wanted to turn to another aspect of the culture challenge: what compromises do we legitimately need to make to the vision of Web 2.0 (as we understand it in the commercial and community space) because the very nature of government requires it?

    The power of social media was successfully harnessed by the Obama campaign to create an army of Davids to help him win the presidency. But this compares with the apparently less successful efforts of the Obama Administration to do likewise. This, I think, highlights how, in some instances at least, social media tools may not be a natural fit within government/ by Goliath.

    This, I think, begs the question: which of the challenges to making government more 2.0 are simply a factor of government not yet knowing how to provide the tools and empower people? And which are a factor of the tools being an ill-fit for Goliath?

    How to Put Customer Needs at the Centre of Business Strategy | CustomerThink – CRM, CEM & Social Media

    Understanding the jobs customers are trying to get done and the outcomes they desire from doing so, really does provide a robust way to cut through the psychobabble of needs, wants, expectations, benefits and solutions. And it provides a simple language to describe the world from the customer's perspective, something that has been missing for years. This language can be used to drive both customer-centric innovation, and the marketing, sales and service that supports innovative new products. [h/t Lauren Currie/@redjotter]

    Too much of a good thing « Town Hall Matters

    n a Work Foundation report, Public Value: The Next Steps in Public Service Reform, David Coats and Eleanor Passmore suggest that our pre-occupation with constant reform of public services may have its downsides. They argue that,

    ‘the continued use of the language of reform has convinced the public that something is wrong. After all, ‘reform’ is usually needed to eliminate abuses, reduce inefficiencies or address other sources of inadequate performance. By creating the impression that public services demand a permanent revolution, ministers have lodged in the public mind the belief that public services are poor and that initiative overload has failed to resolve any of these problems.’

    Of course we need to challenge the status quo and try out new ideas and approaches but I wonder if sometimes we need to give reforms a chance to succeed before the next wave of changes. Has change become too much of a panacea?

    paulcanning: Google UK offers free webinar to council webbies on ‘conversions’

    For local government I suspect that a lot more than 20% of transactions are lost and this means a number of things:
    * ' Service transformation' is in large part about encouraging self-service which is in large part about getting people to do stuff online – if the process doesn't work for many or even most of them 'transformation' simply isn't going to happen.
    * If people have a bad experience with a process it will be that much harder to improve it and get them back. Plus they will tell people about their failure.
    * If the numbers of people successfully completing online transactions are below expectations then this undermines those promoting and developing them – including budget allocation.
    * Conversely, if expectations are too low – as I believe they usually are – bad processes become tolerated and it is that much harder to argue for money to be spent on improving them, for example on user testing

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